Ahhh yes, summer! No school, shorter workdays, and longer daylight hours make it such a fun time of the year. The family is together frequently and the days are more relaxing than they are with the hustle and bustle of school and work combined.
However, sometimes summer can be difficult. All that time together can cause strife in an otherwise happy home. The family reunions and neighborhood BBQs bring together people who might have opposing views, which can cause bad feelings and negative interactions.
If only there was a way to keep the conversations positive and to deal with disagreements in such a way as to minimize their impact. If only this way were quick, easy, and worked with any person and any conversation. I am here to tell you, there is a way to do just that! It is a simple approach that will start working as soon as you start to use it:
Ask questions for which you have no answers
Asking questions helps the other person to open up to you. How? Asking questions sends a message to the brain that you are interested in the other person, allowing them to open up to you. Asking questions for which you have no answers allows you to do that even faster by becoming truly interested in the conversation, which changes your tone and body language. All of these slight changes send a signal to the other person which says, “This is someone who we can trust”.
The last six words of the above sentence are the most important. We’ve all asked leading questions, designed to guide the respondent to the conclusion we want. We most frequently do this with children when helping them to understand why a particular activity might be dangerous, or with a significant other when we want to influence behavior.
However, when you ask questions for which you have no answers you are able to engage with the other person and gain their trust in seconds versus minutes. When you are truly interested in learning the other person not only trusts much faster, but opens his or her mind to other possibilities that much faster.
So, at your next BBQ or pool party, try out this technique. Let us know how it works for you! And if this doesn’t work, or your conversations and relationships have reached a point where a simple fix won’t work, give us a call. As two of only 244 coaches world-wide certified in Conversational Intelligence®, we have the tools, tips and techniques to help you take your conversations and relationships to new heights! Contact us today!